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GryphonSolo2 update from the North Atlantic

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 21 May 20:35 PDT

Greetings from Roger Junet and I aboard GryphonSolo2, currently experiencing the best the North Atlantic has to offer in the way of Spring gales!

After a slightly delayed start from Maine Yacht Center in Portland on Tuesday due to high westerly winds pinning us on the dock, we sailed to sea alongside our fellow Globe40 race competitor Amhas.

In order to get into warmer water and avoid the ice breaking up and flowing south from Labrador (think Titanic), we headed South East just to the north of Georges Banks and out into the Atlantic. The wind has been strong and seas rough, so no easy transition here from cushy shore life to being wet all the time, moving carefully around the boat with three points of contact, crapping in a bucket and eating freeze dried! Its glorious - but I guess we asked for this!? We faced a challenge last night when the lashing at the tack (bottom) of our new A5 failed and we could not furl the sail so had to drop it to the deck in 25k of wind, which was not easy.

After fixing that, I went to furl the staysail in 35k of wind and that got all fouled up in the sheets so we had to drop it to the deck, which was also a challenge, given it is on a halyard lock. I think both sails are ok, but it is clear that we are in the "no mistake zone" with winds over 30k, so have to be more deliberate and thoughtful in our sail changes. Looking forward, there is more Big Air for the next 48 hours and then we begin a gradual move to the northeast in pursuit of the more traditional Great Circle route north to Europe.

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